Should Refugees be Required to take a Religious Test? Speaker Ryan says No
As the nation grows more concerned about the safety of admitting Syrian refugees, House Speaker Paul Ryan is making it clear that Syrian refugees wishing to enter the United States will not be required to take a religious test.
“We will not have a religious test,” says Ryan, “only a security test. If the intelligence and law enforcement community cannot certify that a person presents no threat, then they should not be allowed in. We also must remember that our first priority is to protect the American people.”
In the wake of the attack on Paris – which was in part orchestrated by terrorists that had entered the country as “refugees,” many are concerned that refugees entering the US have similar plans. Already a group of state governors has vowed not to admit refugees into their states. Many believe that Speaker Ryan is the only one with a chance to prevent Obama from admitting potential terrorists.
“We can be compassionate, and we can also be safe,” said Ryan. “That’s what the bill we’re bringing up tomorrow is all about. It calls for a new standard of verification for refugees from Syria and Iraq. It would mean a pause in the program until we can be certain beyond any doubt that those coming here are not a threat.”
The House will vote Thursday on a bill that, according to Ryan, will accomplish the goal of safety while remaining compassionate towards those in need. “All of us here…are hearing these concerns in our offices,” said Ryan. “People understand the plight of those fleeing the Middle East. But they also want basic assurances for the safety of this country.”
Others argue that by law (Section 1158 of Title 8, US Code), the executive branch is required to consider religion when determining the acceptance of refugees.
Rush Limbaugh discussed the topic this week during his show, reminding his audience that suspending immigration is not a new idea. In fact, the United States put a tight restriction on immigration between the years 1924 and 1965.
The reason for this pause was to give current immigrants time to assimilate as well as to prevent further terrorist attacks by communist groups. President William McKinley was assassinated in such an attack in New York in 1901. This incident, along with several bombings, were committed by anarchists who had come to the country as immigrants during a massive influx that started during the late 1800s.
“The difference was back in 1924 and the early 1920s everybody was all for it,” said Limbaugh. “We didn’t have any terrorist apologists. Well, you did…but they weren’t anywhere near. They certainly weren’t in the White House…But for the most part, my point here is that what’s happening today has precedent. What’s happening today is not the United States descending to new depths never before plundered.”
Limbaugh concluded his talk with the following statement: “We are not violating anybody’s freedom, rights, or otherwise by acting in a way as to defend and protect the people of this country and the Constitution. The fact that someone might come from a country or territory ravaged by war does not by itself qualify as an asylum candidate. If it did, we would be overrun already because war is never over. War is a staple in a world governed by the aggressive use of force.”
Click below to read entire transcript.